ÃÂIt is your choiceÃÂ ÃÂ a voice from above echoed down to where the young woman sat in a tight ball, shaking with something she was well acquainted with: fear. A metallic taste polluted her mouth, and her eyes futilely tried to focus on the dark surroundings.
With her head down on her lap, the woman murmured things to herself. Anything that would steady her heartÃÂs pumping, offbeat and loud. Anything that could help in keeping her mind off of the fate set before her; the fate she thought she had escaped; the fate she had been running from for years.
The thoughts pecked at her, like vultures on a dead carcass as she hummed a familiar lullaby. ÃÂThe owl sings not even a tuneÃÂ ÃÂ How did they know who I was? ÃÂÃÂ as the other creatures sleep,ÃÂ How did they know where I was? ÃÂThe wolves howl at the moonÃÂ ÃÂ Exactly how much to they know about me? ÃÂÃÂ though it responds with not even a peep.ÃÂ
Why me?! Why me?! ÃÂThe baby lies, wrapped in a sheetÃÂ ÃÂ Wake up Ancelina! This is just another dream! Wake up, oh please, wake up! ÃÂÃÂ while mother sings her this lullaby so sweet.ÃÂIÃÂm going mad!ÃÂChoose, girl!ÃÂ the voice screamed with impatience.
ÃÂW-w-what?ÃÂ the victim croaked in a barely audible voice.
ÃÂChoose your path.ÃÂTwo pairs of strong hands pulled her up onto her feet. Her legs wobbled uncontrollably like cooked noodles, as she wrestled against the blackness that fought to overpower her. Not. Going. To. Faint. Not. Going. To. Faint. Oh, this is crazy! IÃÂm going to faint! And there is nothing I can do about it! Then theyÃÂre probably going to kill me, and theyÃÂll cut me up into tiny pieces and eat me for dinner! Hopefully IÃÂll go unconscious before thatÃÂ IÃÂd rather not be awake! IÃÂm going to die! IÃÂm going to die!AncelinaÃÂs human crutches left her. Shortly after bright, glaring lights shone on her, blinding her more successfully than the darkness had. Turning around in awkward circles, she noticed the large doors on every wall of the enormous room.
Choose your pathÃÂ Each door was artfully and uniquely decorated. Pictures and designs were carved into the wood. Which one led to freedom? Could she ever come back, and choose a different way to go? Were there any happy endings that awaited her? Ancelina closed her eyes tightly, blocking out everything but what she needed to do.
There is only one direction to go: forward.
Opening one eye first, and then the other, Ancelina looked at the option ahead of her. The entrance was sculptured with flowers and dancing fairies. Vines traveled up the right side and curled around the large brass handle. No words graced the door as a preview of what was to come. Seeing the extremely lifelike roaring lion on the adjacent exit pushed Ancelina forward into making a snap decision.
Anything had to be better than this room. Another day in the cell would send her flying high over the edge and hitting the rock-hard bottom of pure insanity.
The handle smoothly turned in her hand and the fairy door opened as if it had been oiled with butter. A warm breeze urged her forward as the long grass laughed and danced merrily in the wind. Maybe she had made the right decision. Perhaps, everything would be well after all.